Whenever you introduce a new technology, it should be part of a strategic plan. When the technology is disruptive by design, like cloud, that’s even more true. And when it comes to hybrid cloud, which introduces additional complexity to the disruption of cloud, moving forward without a plan is a sure path to stress and disappointment.
Understand Your Goals
As we’ve said repeatedly, no cloud project can succeed without a clear understanding of your goals. With hybrid technology, where the ability to move applications between clouds is critical, you need to understand which specific applications need that capability. With that in mind, you can address the particular issues of each application with respect to refactoring and data security. Every application or database should have a “home” environment optimized for its normal needs.
Understand Your Applications
You’ll get the best results from your hybrid cloud when you deploy your applications to the cloud that matches their requirements and capabilities best. That means you need to take the time to understand each application and each cloud. If you plan to move workloads between clouds, you need to know how to mirror the environment everywhere the application runs. If you’re using Microsoft Azure as your public cloud, you can use Azure Stack in your data center and effectively have the same environment everywhere. Design your architecture to provide flexibility with how your applications are deployed.
Aim for Simplification
Although hybrid cloud requires at least two clouds, which necessarily means more monitoring and management, you should still work towards simplifying management. Because hybrid means you’ll be shifting data and workloads between environments, develop a monitoring and management strategy that allows you to use the same tools everywhere. Use federated security and management tools. If your clouds are structured similarly everywhere, that will make monitoring and management easier, as well. Automation will allow you to ensure changes in policies and configurations are applied consistently across your environments.
You can only exploit the flexibility of cloud if your staff is able to deliver IT agilely. This is as much a management and cultural issue as a technical one. Particularly in large companies or industries with significant regulatory and compliance oversight, IT activity is often held back by policies meant to provide security. Spend time thinking through how those policies need to change once you’ve got a hybrid cloud.
Limit Your Risk
Don’t expect to achieve full hybrid cloud integration all at once. Also, don’t plan to refactor all your applications at once. Expect hybrid cloud implementation to be an ongoing process and plan to execute the steps gradually to minimize the impact of any problems that arise along the way.
When you approach your hybrid cloud project strategically, it can serve as a driver of your overall IT modernization efforts. Get help developing and executing an effective hybrid cloud strategy from dcVAST. Contact us to learn more about hybrid cloud.